Today (Tuesday 13 April) 17-year-old Jack Halliwell was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was found guilty by a jury of attempted murder on 18 March 2021.
The teenager left a man blind after attacking him with a hammer in Nantwich.
The 40-year-old victim was repeatedly hit with the weapon up to 12 times in an attack which took place in the space of just two minutes inside a flat in Arnold Street.
Following the assault the severely injured victim was left alone in a bedroom. He was only found four hours later after an anonymous call to the police.
Detective Inspector Claire Jesson, of Crewe CID, said: “This was a truly horrific and distressing attack, which will stay with the victim, his family and the officers who attended the crime scene, for the rest of their lives.
“He was beaten so brutally that he was left unrecognisable and could only be identified by his tattoo – and then he was left alone in a room in severe pain with horrific injuries.
“I am pleased the jury found the Halliwell guilty and justice has been served. However the victim’s life has changed forever and he will continue to be on a long road to recovery and will never regain his sight.
“I commend my detectives who have worked tirelessly to secure this outcome on what was a complex investigation.”
The court heard that the incident took place on Sunday 26 July 2020. At 4.30pm the victim arrived at a flat in Arnold Street where he was subjected to the brutal attack that left his face covered in blood and severely swollen.
Halliwell had been using the flat as a place to deal drugs and it is believed that a dispute had taken place between him and the victim over a debt.
Immediately after the attack the teenager took a photo of the victim as he lay on the floor and then fled the property. He ran to a nearby address, called for a taxi and waited to be collected.
Ten minutes after leaving the taxi he sent the photo he had taken of the victim to a contact on social media.
Shortly before 5pm two women attended the flat and saw the badly beaten victim in the bedroom lying on the bed. He had a hammer underneath his feet and they tried to help him.
At 8.20pm police received an anonymous call to say a man had been attacked and was in a bedroom.
When they arrived they found the victim in the bedroom with severe injuries to his head and face – he could only be identified by a tattoo on his body.
What followed was a meticulous investigation to review CCTV footage, forensic analysis and conduct house-to-house enquiries.
This led to the Halliwell being identified and a sustained manhunt led to his arrest in Gorton, Manchester, on 31 July.
He had tried to burn the clothes he was wearing on the day of the incident but a jacket seized from his address had traces of the victim’s blood on it.
The teenager was subsequently charged with attempted murder.
A second man, aged 42, was found not guilty of attempted murder.